I’ve worked with dozens of online editors since 1999, many of whom are working with the largest website destinations on the Internet. While each editor has their own specifications as to what they are looking for, there are certain constants that need to be present to virtually guarantee that your content will be received, published and promoted.
I’d like to share some of those requirements to help make your own efforts to reach out to editors a smoother and more effective process.
To begin with, you want to make sure you review the targeted website. If you are a parenting expert, don’t assume that every parenting website will want your content. Your work needs to be something unique that will give the editor content that is in some way different from what they are already presenting.
If your topic is general in nature, then take the time to find a unique spin that hasn’t been previously presented on the website.
Once you are sure you have a concept for the article that meets the topic requirements and that has a unique perspective, you need to now structure and format the article in a way that will increase your chances of being published. Online content is not meant to be lengthy and in-depth.
Its what we call ‘digestible content’, offering practical strategies or entertaining tips that people can scan and move on. The magic is in creating enough curiosity and interest to encourage the reader to click to your website and to then want more.
Effective online content also needs to be scanable content. This means keeping the articles under 700 words, using short paragraphs and adding bullets and numbers to clarify your tips and strategies.
The most critical factor to bear in mind is that online content must be non-promotional in nature. While you are more then welcome to add a bio box with links and promotional references added, the actual article is not meant to be a sales tool and it will be rejected immediately if you add in sales text.
In addition, keep your content free from graphics and unusual fonts. Avoid italics and bold only the headings.
The most important thing to remember is that it is your job to make the editor’s job easier. They are not typically receptive to press releases, interviews and other content they have to edit. The less they have to rework the content and email back and forth asking for changes, the more likely it is the content will be gratefully accepted and heavily promoted.
Become the editor’s best friend, giving them ongoing options for valuable perspectives and resources that will ultimately make their readers happy. That will create a promotional opportunity for you on a variety of websites that can make a substantial impact on developing your business models.